Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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EVANS , THOMAS HOPKIN ( 1879 - 1940 ), musician ;

b. 6 March 1879 at Resolfen, Glam. , son of David and Ann Evans . He received his early training from Professor David Evans , and began his career as organist of London Road Presbyterian church , Neath , and conductor of the Neath choral society which, under his direction, gave a number of concerts of large-scale choral and orchestral works which attracted attention. He conducted the Welsh national choir at the Festival of Empire held at the Crystal Palace , London , in 1911 , and the Birkenhead national eisteddfod choir in 1917 ; and he succeeded Harry Evans (q.v.) as conductor of the Liverpool Welsh choral union in 1919 . He became a leading figure in the musical life of Wales in virtue of his magnetic personality and command of language, both English and Welsh , which gave stature to his eisteddfodic pronouncements and his articles on Welsh musical matters . His gifts as a conductor were publicly acclaimed when he received a personal message of congratulation from Delius , following an outstanding performance of that composer's ‘ Mass of Life ’ at the Wrexham national eisteddfod concerts in 1933 . The Delius Society honoured him with its vice-presidency , and he accepted an invitation to undertake a conducting tour in America . His compositions include: ‘ A Cymric Suite ’, ‘ A Brythonic Overture ’, and ‘ Three Preludes on Welsh Hymn-tunes for orchestra ’; two choral-orchestral works, ‘ Kynon ’ and ‘ Salm i'r Ddaear ’; and a number of songs, anthems, part-songs, and pianoforte pieces. He was Mus.Doc. (Oxon) . He m. Adelina Powel . He d. 23 March 1940 .

Sources:

  • Y Cerddor , Sept. 1933 ;
  • The Times , 26 March 1940 ;
  • Who was who? , 1929-40 .

Author:

Professor David Ewart Parry Williams, D.Mus., (1900-96), Bangor

Published date: 1959